🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩
Gorilla Harassment 🦍
Brother Love 👨👦👦
True Crime 🔪
My love of wild animals was fostered early in my childhood. Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom was appointment viewing for my family. I grew up with scenes of hungry cheetahs chasing down baby gazelles that included what’s not included on nature shows today … that moment when the gazelle zigs and the cheetah zigs, leading to no more zags for the former and a full belly for the latter.
So into the animal kingdom was my Father Dearest that, when he explained the birds and the bees to me, he did so using fish as an example. I’m still waiting for Wifey Poo to lay eggs on a rock so I can swim by and fertilize them.
As such, I appreciate zoos. The St. Louis version is good by all national standards and includes the benefit of being free from admission for most things. As a resident of St. Charles County and not St. Louis County, I don’t even have to pay tax dollars to see the zebras and red pandas and lemurs and assorted other exotic creations.
Yesterday, Wifey Poo and I used our weekly date to go to the zoo for a cold-weather visit. Temps were in the upper 30s, at best, and I didn’t expect a lot of the animals to be out and about. Many were. The gorillas, though, were inside. While we were walking toward the indoor viewing area, I noticed some signs on the railings. They asked the human visitors not to annoy or harass the apes, and it gave a phone number that ended in phone letters — K-I-N-D — to report anyone who’s being a jerk.
That such a sign is necessary is a good commentary on the human condition. I mean, these great apes, by virtual of their DNA, are meant to be wild creatures roaming the forests of Africa. We humans have done such a great job fucking up their habitat and killing them for sport and strange ideas of aphrodisiacs and medicine that they’re nearly extinct. The only place 99% of us are every going to see one is in a zoo. … And we’re going to be jerks to them? Really? That’s who we are?
I’ve developed mixed feelings about zoos since COVID. I read a story during lockdown about how the animals in zoos, free from observing humans, were acting differently … more natural … better. They were mating more frequently (bom-chicka-womp-wow) and were generally happier. That makes my presence in a zoo somewhat conflicting for me.
Why? Because I also recognize that zoos raise awareness about conservation efforts and have saved many beautiful creatures from extinction. So there’s that.
But the fact that we need signs to tell us to be, well, good humans? That’s sad.
I went into the indoor ape area. There was a huge silverback just sitting there on the other side of what I assume is pretty thick glass. He turned his gaze to me when I got there, and I sat down by the glass. People who harass animals are similar to the keyboard warriors who troll people online. They’re real brave and funny when they’re separated from that thing that would beat the living crap out of them if the barriers were removed.
I felt bad for the ape. I mean, the indoor enclosure kinda sucks, and at the risk of being a little anthropomorphic, he seemed … sad? Resigned? Indifferent? Barely containing his rage at being humiliated by humans who need a tip line to keep them from being jerks to him? I don’t know.
I sat there awhile and just sorta watched him. Every once in a while, he’d look over, like, “Yup. Still there being a creeper.” But I guess maybe he was OK with that since I wasn’t, ya know, harassing him.
Side note: Have you ever looked at gorilla feet? The rest of the gorilla is really cool and impressive. I am especially proud of my gorilla friend for having such an impressive gut. But ape feet? That thumb-like thing? That just looks weird. I’m telling you that. I would never harass the ape with my opinion.
There were six years in which I thought Boy The Elder would be just “Boy.” Wifey Poo and I had gone through the extremely trying time of losing our first son shortly after he was born in December of 2000, and when BTE came along a few years later, well, that pregnancy was hard. You can’t unknow how fucking cruel and indiscriminate this world can be when it comes to pregnancy once you have to hand the body of your newborn child to a nurse, never to see him again.
There were people who told us that because we’d walked that walk with faith and dignity, we were owed a healthy child. That simply isn’t true. Thanks to that little club we’re in, I’ve seen plenty of people who have gone through the same hell we did more than once.
Every ultrasound was hell. Yes, it was joyous to see our child moving around, to hear his heartbeat, to watch him develop. But the run-up to every ultrasound? Hell. It was at the first ultrasound for Boy The Eldest that we found out something was wrong. That touched off four months of doctor’s appointments, prayers, sadness, slight hope and, ultimately, the end we received.
So have another kid? Do that all over again? No thank you.
Wifey Poo was the first to bring up having another child, and the idea ping-ponged back and forth between us for a little while. I was still in the newspaper industry, the editor of a daily in Minnesota, watching from the front row as the thing I know how to do better than anything else crumbled around me. (Thanks, internet). The thought of bringing another child into that uncertainty seemed nuts.
Worse, I’d started back to school in pursuit of my MBA, planning for my ultimate departure from the newspaper world, but that made things at that moment even more uncertain. I was working 10 hours a day, minimum. I was on call constantly. I would come home at around 7 p.m., eat some dinner with my family, and then head off to do my online classes and projects, which included actual freaking math (ick) and things like statistics and accounting (double ick).
When exactly would I have time to spend with my newborn child? His daddy would be a stranger to him. I couldn’t do that.
Funny how things work out. Less than a year after those thoughts, we rolled into our new Central Missourah Small Town USA, I was no longer in newspapers, Wifey Poo was extremely pregnant. Exactly a month after that day, out came Boy The Younger.
I wouldn’t change a thing.
I say all that to say this: I had no idea what kind of relationship my boys would have. There was seven years between them, and BTE wasn’t exactly thrilled when we’d broken the news that he was going to be a big brother. He wasn’t defiant or angry or anything like that, but he made it known in his own way that he wasn’t sure about this whole big brother thing.
This past week, BTE — now 20, engaged to be married, incredibly intelligent, very logical, very not-emotional and very much a great big brother — called Wifey Poo to ask her what BTY was doing Monday night. She told him he was free. BTE was getting tickets to the Blues hockey game to go with what ultimately turned out to be two of his friends, but the tickets came in lots of 1, 2 or 4. So would BTY be able to go?
The fact that BTE would even think about taking BTY to something like that astounds me. My sister and I haven’t talked in more than a decade, which is a good thing for many reasons. But even when we did, I’m quite sure she never would have thought to invite me to anything, nor I, her.
Yet BTE thought of his brother, and even better, when he talked with the two friends who are going to the game and asked them if they’d be cool with that, both enthusiastically said yes. There’s a reason for that, too. BTY is good to hang around with. He and BTE don’t fight when they’re together, which means they don’t create awkward situations for the people around them. BTY is very much 13, but he’s a respectful, funny kid who can hang with the older boys, especially the older boys BTE has surrounded himself with.
They’re all good kids, though yes, still very much young men/boys who say and do incredibly dumb things. But they’re all good kids, and the fact that my two boys can do things like this together, want to do things like that together … it warms my heart.
It didn’t end there. BTE, his best friend from childhood, his fiance (how weird to type that!) and his cousins all started planning a Friday-after-Thanksgiving visit to the Mizzou football game. Long story short, BTY wasn’t going to go because we didn’t have a ticket for him. He was going to come home with us Thursday after Thanksgiving at Baby Sister-in-Law’s in Columbia, while the rest stayed behind.
BTE wasn’t havin’ it. He talked with Wifey Poo and said he’d feel bad if Jonah was left out like that, and couldn’t we just get him a ticket? So we did.
Last night at dinner, I made a big show of pausing the conversation to ensure that BTY understands and appreciates what he has in an older sibling. I do that because I recognize what it’s like to not have that, and also because BTY is so used to BTE’s kindness that I don’t think he understands how special it is. BTY assures me he does understand that and does appreciate it. I believe he thinks that he does but that he hasn’t looked around enough at other sibling relationships to fully “get” how rare what he and his brother have is.
Listen, I’m not here to say things have always been rosy between the two of them. They haven’t. We once had to stop a young BTY from stabbing BTE in the back with (safety) scissors, and though nothing pops to mind right now, I know there have been times when BTE has suffered groundings for being a jerkface to his brother. They’re brothers, after all, and they spent a lot of time together growing up because of our decision to homeschool.
Yet here they are — one already a fine young man and the other well on his way to becoming the same — and they are amazing together. They constantly think of each other and put the other first. BTY constantly has to be paused from dropping serious bank on gifts for his brother, and he doesn’t quite understand why we’re steering him away from the $70 or $80 or $100 gift he wants to get his bro. Frankly, thinking about it now, neither do I. If that’s a way he wants to show appreciation to his brother and he’s earned that money himself, why exactly am I stopping him from living out his purpose?
Our family has been through a lot. A lot a lot. Yet here we are, and things are … good?
Life Lessons From Atherstone Ball and a Boy Named Chestnut
Top 5 Things You Will Learn If You Read This Whole Thing You can’t “Hippy” the desire to conquer land out of boys. Sometimes leadership is thrust upon us. Bob is an idiot. There’s a game played by a bunch of violent, drunk Englishmen that even Nazi bombs couldn’t stop. Even the most violent feuds…Keep reading
We are a true-crime family. This is led by Wifey Poo, who, despite the sweet and unassuming exterior, ingests true-crime podcasts and TV shows like they were Pringles. BTE has followed her down that path and, frankly, so have I, though our individual tastes for true crime differ slightly.
Only BTY is so far free from this virus. When Wifey Poo and I sit down to watch a true crime show, he’ll head downstairs with the farewell, “Have fun watching your murder…” It’s quite comical.
The latest case that fascinates us what’s going on in Idaho with the four murdered roommates. Some side notes:
- The town name of Moscow is interesting.
- That the TV station in the area has the call letters KREM is equally interesting. Is that for KREMlin, as in, the government building in Moscow, Russia?
Back to the case: I am obviously in no position to speculate on anything with any sort of authority, and I wouldn’t do so even if I were in such a position. I mean, who am I?
The case is sad and seems to be being handled quite oddly. A 911 call from a roommate who reports only an unconscious person in the apartment, not four people who have been stabbed to death? A police department that first says there is no danger to the public because this was an isolated incident, then walks that back and tells the public to be vigilant? Four people who are said to be stabbed in their sleep but who have defensive wounds?
As someone familiar with crisis communication, how this police department is handling the situation is providing some good examples of what not to do.
I hope they catch the scumbag(s) who did this soon.
Today’s Reasons to Keep Living
- I want to see how the Idaho thing plays out.
- Mass turkey consumption on Thursday.
- Short work week! Gotta get that holiday pay, yo!
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🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Mission: Failed 👎Ho 🤣Handy Family 👍 It has to suck to work at the Missouri Department of Transportation. Why? It took exactly 75 minutes for all of 2023 to be a failure. Let me explain. Those of you unfortunate enough to have been involved in any sort of corporate planning process…Keep reading
Writing Retreat — Jan. 15, 2023
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Houston 🖊️Sad clown 🤡Taco Seasoning 🌮 Houston, Missourah, is not unlike a lot of other rural Missourah towns through which I’ve driven and bears a resemblance to the Small Town USA in which Boy The Elder did a lot of his early growing up and to which Boy The Younger came…Keep reading
Ceilings — Jan. 14, 2023
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Definitions 📖Missing Bourbon 🥃Mysterious Knocks 😵 I generally abhor any writing that starts with, “Webster’s dictionary defines …” Webster’s dictionary defines “ceiling” as a noun meaning “the overhead inside lining of a room.” The implication is that it’s a limitation, a max, a point of demarcation between what’s out there and…Keep reading
Movie Ambush — Jan. 13, 2023
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Sadness 😥Annoyance 😠Disappointment 😞 When Boy The Elder was Boy The Only in our home, he watched one of the Air Bud movies featuring a basketball-playing dog. Or maybe it was football. Or soccer. By the time that series was over, that dog had played them all. Anyway, whichever Air Bud…Keep reading
Animal Updates — Jan. 12, 2023
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Thor’s Blurry Hammer 🍆Pigeon Delivery 🕊️Idiot List 🤪 Thor is really, really good with his hammer. And by that, I mean that Thor the walrus in Scarborough, England, is really good at masturbating and ruining New Years Eve. If you haven’t heard about this story, stop reading stupid news like politics…Keep reading
Bad Boys— Jan. 11, 2023
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Bruising Basketball 🏀Poke ☝️Six?!? 🔫 I grew up in the NBA era of the Bad Boys Detroit Pistons while loving a New York Knicks team that was, to put it mildly, quite physical. Guys like Steph Curry and LeBron James can makes basketball seem like artistry these days, but give me…Keep reading
Done — Jan. 10, 2023
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩What There is Like! ⛅’Modern Policing’ 🚨Xylophone Time! 🎵 When you decide to talk about a time in which you truly believe you more-or-less died and saw what comes after this life, you have to be comfortable with the fact that people might think you’re nuts. Hell, talking about it on…Keep reading
Media Landscape — Jan. 6, 2023
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Grace Ashford! 📰Idaholy Shit! 🥔Story of the Year! 🍆 The three most influential people in my life as a journalist are, sadly, all part of the Great Newsroom in the Sky now. Professors Michael Perkins and Bob Woodward (AKA Bob Woodward-Not-That-Bob-Woodward) helped educate me at Drake University, and Lisa Warren was…Keep reading
Santos Kills Puppy — Jan. 5, 2023
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Poor Puppy 🐶Romeo and Juliet 🤴👸Meta Mistake 🙊 Disturbing news out of Washington, D.C., today as Republican Congressman-elect George Santos (if that’s his real name) brought a 6-month-old puppy to the house floor and screamed “Hey, look at me!” before slitting its throat and lapping up its squirting blood like a…Keep reading
Institutions — Jan. 4, 2023
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩A Pretty Good Rant 😠Tesla Plunge 🚗Missed Lasts 😥 Those of you who regularly read my drivel (I see you, DirtySciFiBuddah) might have become aware of the fact over the past year or so that I am not a huge fan of our world’s modern institutions. All of them might, in…Keep reading
Finishing — Jan. 2, 2023
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Incomplete 🕮Frustration 😠Bowl Bust 🏈 To say that I know how to write is like saying I know how to breathe. No one considers that they know how to breathe. They just … breathe. No one is particularly good at breathing or bad at breathing. Again, they just … breathe. I’ve…Keep reading
Fifty Intentions for 2023
Welcome to Issue No. 15 of Listicles, the feature that presents the Top 10, Top 5, Top 3, Top 100 or Top 1,000,000 of whatever it is you want to know about. Email your Listicle suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org. So last year, I had a list of 100 intentions for 2022, and I did fairly well,…Keep reading
Vision Board — Dec. 30, 2022
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩2023 📅Helping 🧠The Universe 🔭 I’m not much for long-term plans and goals. This isn’t to suggest I don’t think they’re important. I just think that spending a lot of time on them is futile. What’s the saying? Man plans, God laughs. Something like that. Anyway, I’ve learned through experience that…Keep reading
The Point of Suffering — Dec. 27, 2022
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Chain Links 🔗”Work” 🧑💼Popular Toys 🧸 After my first son died in December 2000, I spent a lot of time wondering why. Why me? Why Wifey Poo? Why Jacob? Why this level of suffering in a world supposedly created and run by an all-loving, all-knowing, all-powerful God? So I did what…Keep reading
Freezing Fans — Dec. 26, 2022
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Chiefs! 🏈Indy Tickets 🏎️Bank Visit 💰 When I bought the tickets to the Christmas Eve contest between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Seattle Seahawks as a gift for Boys The Elder & Younger, it was sometime in September and temps hovered around 90 degrees. The thought that the game might…Keep reading
Jacob at 22 — Dec. 20, 2022
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Timelines 👶Extinctions 🌋Sin City 👌 As I fall deeper down the rabbit hole learning more about theories on space and time, the concept of alternative timelines comes up again and again and again. Whether it’s the stuff of science fiction or one day will be proven to be the stuff of…Keep reading
Joe(y) the Comedian — Dec. 18, 2022
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩’Cousin’ Laughs🎤Improv!?!? 🎭Drake Hoops 🏀 Back when I was a boy, I had a favorite Cousin-Who-Wasn’t-A-Cousin. His name was Joey DeVito, and he was in no way a blood relation to me, though I called his father Uncle Frankie and his mother Aunt Celia. I’m pretty sure this is an East…Keep reading
Doughnut Guy — Dec. 17, 2022
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Glazed 🍩Bingo! 🖥️Disappearing Christians ⛪ I didn’t intend to bring doughnuts for my co-workers yesterday morning. It just sorta happened. How it happened and how it played out is a window into my weird mind. First, an explanation: I have a card purchased from Boy The Younger that entitles me to…Keep reading
James and Stinky — Dec. 15, 2022
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩STL’s Homeless 😥Snake Hoo-Hoos 🐍That Was Epoch 👴 I found James huddled underneath a blanket as he sat, knees to his chest, head bowed, just outside the doorway of a CVS in the Delmar Loop section of St. Louis. If you’re not familiar with the area, it’s a fun place filled…Keep reading
Paul Silas — Dec. 14, 2022
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Knicks Memory 🏀JBM LLC 🧑🏼💼Brain Drain 🧠 My most memorable interaction with Paul Silas occurred when I was a 17-year-old kid with big dreams of being a sports reporter. I’d talked with Paul before — his wife and Mother Dearest were active in the local Make A Wish Foundation chapter and…Keep reading
Humbug — Dec. 13, 2022
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Piped-In Music 🎵Astronomy 🔭Fusion ☢️ Here’s the thing about Christmas: I want to love it, and in many ways, I do. I love giving gifts and, to be honest, I love getting gifts. There’s something so cool about the magical times when someone knows you well enough to get you that…Keep reading
Aunt Pauline — Dec. 9, 2022
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Familial Reflections 👪Career Rebuild 🛠️Andrea 📱 It’s hard to think of my Aunt Pauline as old, hard to imagine how it is that she’s just about to leave her 80s and, thus, it’s hard to understand how she could be in such poor health right now. Aunt Pauline is Father Dearest’s…Keep reading
Bye-Bye, Zombies — Dec. 8, 2022
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩The Walking Dead 🧟Nose B Gone 👃Turkey Trouble 🦃 I spent Tuesday night watching the final episodes of The Walking Dead. I have always been the type who can get so lost in a good story that I have really strong emotions (shocker, I know) when it ends. It happens with…Keep reading
Redefining Family — Dec. 6, 2022
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Who’s Family? 👪Music Speaks 🎵Wedding Websites 👨❤️👨 I was raised as an East Coast Italian, despite being a mixed bag of ethnicities born in Denver, Colorado. That meant that there was this huge importance placed on family that’s not necessarily shared with the same ferocity by others. Yet as I grew…Keep reading
Grief — Dec. 5, 2022
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Messy Grief 😔Hear Ye! 👂Die Trump Die 😡 I am acutely aware that I am hardly alone as a 48-year-old man when I say that I am well acquainted with grief. I’m not sure if it was always this way — though I imagine it was — but I don’t think…Keep reading
Human Jewel Beetles — Dec. 3, 2022
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Beer Bottle Connections 🍺Ear Concerns 👂BTE vs. Deer 🦌 What exactly is reality? Is there a limit to the universe? How can something as heavy as the Earth be just sort of suspended … and what exactly is it suspended in? This is the rabbit hole I’ve fallen down, all while…Keep reading
Be Yourself — Dec. 1, 2022
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩A Good Self 👋Urgent Care, Revisited 👩⚕️Slow Down 🐢 I remember this time back in sixth grade when a trusted adult was talking to me as I struggled through what turned out to be a pretty life-defining traumatic experience. The friends I’d grown up with since I was a small boy…Keep reading
Deer Drama — Nov. 30 2022
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Shooting a Fake Deer 🦌Time Spent Poorly ⏰Child Support 💸 About midway up my left shin underneath my leg hair is a scar about three inches long and the width of a deer antler. Well, a fake deer antler, anyway. “Deer-antler width” is hardly a standard unit of measurement, I know,…Keep reading
Metallica! — Nov. 29 2022
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Gods of Music Deliver! 🎸Insta-Anger 😠Unpleasant 😓 I was in need of something good to happen yesterday. Desperate need. The gods of music delivered. Metallica is coming to St. Louis in concert in 2023 for a two-day show at the Dome at the America Center. I found out about this at…Keep reading
Double Ear Infection — Nov. 27, 2022
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Urgent Care 👂👂Alone Update 😔Rest 🛏️ It’s never a good sign when, less than two seconds after sticking a light in your ear and gazing through the little viewfinder thingy (patent pending), the doctor says, “Oooooooooh.” That was followed by a diagnosis of a “nasty” left ear infection and the question,…Keep reading
Fitting in — Nov. 25, 2022
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Alone 😔Christmas Changes🎄My Two Skillz 🔪 I would venture to guess that most of us like the feeling of fitting in somewhere. Even the most self-confident, secure person likes to have a tribe. We’re social creatures, and to have a place we just seem to slide into safely is a blessing.…Keep reading
Spouse+ Subscription — Nov. 23, 2022
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Marriage Talk 💑Requesting Money 💰Murder-Free 🔪 If you’ve been married as long as I have (rounding the corner and heading toward 26 years), you understand that conversations between spouses can sometimes be awfully weird. I mean, Wifey Poo and I have known each other more than 30 years now. How much…Keep reading
Coffee Hand — Nov. 22, 2022
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Man Cold? 🤒Balloon Analogy 🎈World Flop ⚽ If you want to know how my Monday started yesterday, I poured coffee all over my hand. It isn’t that I don’t know how to pour coffee. I’ve done it a billion times. It’s that, on this particular Monday, somewhere in between the start…Keep reading
No Slides Allowed — Nov. 17, 2022
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Presentation Skillz 📽️No Tribe 😔Fuck 45 🖕 There was a time not all that long ago, cosmically speaking, that the mere thought of standing up in front of a crowd and giving a talk would have made me want to throw up in my shoes. In fact, there has been a…Keep reading
What’s Funny? — Nov. 15, 2022
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Boss Kudos 🙌Chill Time 😌One In 8 Billion🧍 It always feels good when the Big Bossman comes up to you and shakes your hand for a job well done. That happened last night when El Presidente of our company congratulated me on the video I wrote, shot and produced for our…Keep reading
Engaged — Nov. 14, 2022
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩BTE and Div 💍Brother Greetings 👨👩👦👦Travel Day ✈️ The morning after Boy The Elder was born, I awoke in the hospital to his sweet cooing and his momma’s deep-sleep breathing. Scooping him up carefully and holding him nervously, I sat in a rocking chair in the pre-dawn darkness and talked to…Keep reading
Dying Democracy — Nov. 11, 2022
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Election Message 🗳️School Priorities 🏫Tickets Aplenty 🎫 It would seem to me that if a common sentiment from wise people following an election is that it’s a good thing the results were so muddled because it means not much will get done in the next two years, you’ve got yourself a…Keep reading
Fairy Tale — Nov. 9, 2022
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Stephen King 🕮Legal Weed🌿Public Schools🏫 I read my first Stephen King book when I was in high school. It was summer, if I remember correctly, and everywhere I went, I carried a worn library copy of Pet Sematary. Since that time, King’s words have been a regular companion through every stage…Keep reading
Year In Music — Nov. 5, 2022
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Concert Craze 🎵Back Crackin’👩⚕️To-Dos Done🚗 My year of music is over. And, my God, has it been good. It started on a sweltering mid-July afternoon at Hollywood Casino Amphitheater in which Wifey Poo and I watched my Backup Wife Jewel do her thing. It ended last night on an evening that…Keep reading
Update: My Favorite African — Nov. 3, 2022
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Little D’s Return 🏥Irony 🔨Planet Killer 🌎 Being a host parent to a little boy from Africa (Burkina Faso, to be precise) was one of the hardest and most rewarding things I’ve ever done in my life. And now, that little boy is returning to the United States. For those not…Keep reading
Mega Billions — Nov. 2, 2022
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Stupid IT Rules 🖥️The Bend 🚑Is The War Over? ✌️ Tonight, there will be a lottery drawing in which someone could win $1.2 billion. That someone won’t be me, as I didn’t buy a ticket, but it didn’t stop me from thinking about what I would and wouldn’t do with that…Keep reading
Fun Family — Nov. 1, 2022
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Family Dynamics 👪New Mattress 🛏️To Share Or Not To Share? ❓ Let’s say the only cracker you’ve ever eaten is a Saltine. You have no experience with any other crackers. In fact, you don’t even know that there is such a thing as other crackers. You might not love the Saltine,…Keep reading
Halloween Haters— Oct. 31, 2022
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Ghosts of Halloween 👻Wrinkles 👴Words Spawn Action ✍️ Wifey Poo made a bold declaration about her opinion of Halloween on our drive back from Springfield, Missourah, Saturday afternoon: “Halloween is a great time for kids to dress up …” If you think there’s more to that statement, nope. She added: “Period.”…Keep reading
How I Do Me — Oct. 27, 2022
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Empath Life 🤗Earthquake 🌎Revolutionary Failure 😶 About six months after I started my career as a professional journalist, I started walking past this job opening in our company every time I walked in and out of the building. It was for editor of a weekly paper routinely ridiculed by those who…Keep reading
School Shooter Match Game — Oct. 24, 2022
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Game Time 🎮Family Picture📸Marriage Tips 🪢 I remember when it was simple. Horrible, yes … but simple. There was Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold and they matched up with Columbine — which, side note, would have been my high school had my parents not moved to NY when I was 2.…Keep reading
Helping the Homeless — Oct. 23, 2022
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Helper Bags 🆘What’s In The Bag?🎒Mini Golf ⛳ I was raised to avoid the homeless. Avoid eye contact. Avoid conversation. And most definitely avoid giving them anything they asked for. I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in this, which doesn’t make me feel any better. What was instilled in me as…Keep reading
Marcus F’n King — Oct. 21, 2022
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Books & Covers 🕮Seeking Balance ⚖️Weirdo🤪 We’re taught at an early age to not judge a book by its cover. If I remember correctly, that was impressed upon me sometime around the first grade. Yet to be honest, I don’t think it’s a lesson that ever really sunk in. I imagine…Keep reading
Political Ads — Oct. 20, 2022
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Illegals or Guns? 🤦Scrolling Through Stupidity 🖱️Worst Nurse Ever 👩⚕️ If there’s anything I hate more than politics and politicians, it’s political advertising. Cutting the cable cord has lessened its intrusiveness in my life, yet it still manages to seep in. Case in point: I was watching the Padres-Phillies game last…Keep reading
Chocolateman— Oct. 19, 2022
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Passion 🍫Sarcasm 😜Poop 💩 I appreciate people who are passionate about something. Well, except politics. Then I’d prefer it if you’d just keep your mouth shut. But if you’re super-interested in photography, goats, cooking, geocaching, quilting, etching … whatever … your enthusiasm feeds my soul. Which is part of the reason…Keep reading
Top 5 Things From The Past Week: Oct. 10-16 edition
Welcome to Issue No. 9 of Listicles, the feature that presents the Top 10, Top 5, Top 3, Top 100 or Top 1,000,000 of whatever it is you want to know about. Email your Listicle suggestions to email@example.com. No. 5: I pledged to finish something I am a writer. If I’m going to be a…Keep reading
Evolution — Oct. 17, 2022
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Monkey Crap 🐒BTY Day 👨👦Incomplete Stories 🖊️ If you’re of the belief that human beings evolved from apes, I’m not here to try to dissuade you. What I am here to say is that, if evolution is true, we sure have come a long way. I say this after a trip…Keep reading
Basement Water — Oct. 15, 2022
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Personal Growth 🌱Mad Mom 😠Oh, Jeffrey 🧠 About a year ago, Arti The Wonder Therapist waited patiently for me to finish yet another of my amazing monologues detailing just how I felt about the various situations I was attempting to address in my life at the time and then calmly asked…Keep reading
Death! Death! Death! — Oct. 14, 2022
🧩 Today’s Puzzle Pieces 🧩Cue the Outrage 🔫Animal Extinction 🐆Eye Update 👀 Even back in the day when I considered myself a Republican (before the dark times … before the Trumpire), I never quite understood the death penalty. Perhaps it was because I looked around at the other nations that still killed people as punishment…Keep reading